Every single day, I write a gratitude journal. I have been writing one since I was ten years old. In the beginning of the pandemic, I was hopeful. But as people close to me tested positive and one of my best friend's dads succumbed to the deadly virus, the virus was not a cold statistic anymore. My little niece, usually cheerful, wrote a story about how she discovered a magic potion that could combat the virus. For the first time, I knew that I was going to be living through a period in the world that would constitute living history. Indeed, anything we write about this pandemic and our experiences of it, will be used as archival research for years to come. How have I being spending my days, you ask? I have been practising strict social distancing, as several people I am quarantining with are immuno-compromised. In my real life, I live and work as an entrepreneur and a tour guide, so tactile presence is important not just to me as a human being, but also in terms of my career. Of course, my walking tours have dried up, but I have spent my time listening to BTS, a Kpop band that I discovered when I was going through one of the worst phases of my life-getting out of a physical and emotionally abusive relationship. The trauma of that relationship continues to haunt me and sometimes I wake up at night in a pool of tears, frightened and startled too, at the person I became in a relationship with a person determined to impede my growth through their abject apathy and narcissism. It has been three years, and I have emerged out of this terrible equation stronger, wiser and post importantly, much happier. During the pandemic when I have some free time, I watch mukbangs and learn about ASMR, play video games with new friends I have made, the pandemic has really helped me expand my community and appreciate all the creative ways in which food bloggers, sustainable fashion designers are using their platforms. I am also very impressed by the way activists are using the tools available to them to agitate and organize. Writers are writing beautifully. I have been feeling very exhausted of late so I have been snapping at a lot of people who are very close to me. I have built an unflappable social media persona online, but I am still the same quiet, unsure and grouchy person I always was. It is so easy to lose sight of who you fundamentally are when accolades come your way. And contrary to popular belief, success does not always make you confident. It can also make you nervous and insecure. With almost no interactions offline, I find myself comparing my own life to acquaintance's lives. He got an award during quarantine. Her business is thriving. She got a book deal. Once you start looking at other people's curated feeds (and automatically compare your unfiltered life to their curated one), it makes you miserable. Rationally, you know that this is only one part of the story and there is so much more to it, but your insecurity and low self esteem gets the better of you. "I still have not finished the book I promised I'd write," I tell myself. But I have low energy and am mentally too exhausted to actually form characters. "I will be disciplined and create a schedule that works for me." But I fail and I fail every single time. Finally, I decide that it is time for a shift in mindset. I am lucky to be alive and healthy and it is really okay if I don't get much done during the pandemic. I am working on my full-time job, and being productive is not really the prerogative at the moment. Finding a vaccine for COVID-19 is. Surviving is. Staying kind and loving is.
At first, I didn't know what to write for this. I always thought of my life as not that meaningful or noteworthy, but I have a story I want to tell. I had a friend, someone I cherished above many people. At that point, we had been friends for many years, nearly five or six I think. Lets call her Vivian, since I would rather not use her real name. Vivian's parents had told me to stay away from her. I could not visit anymore because of my sexuality. They have a belief that every person is gay or straight. You like one or the other, not both. We found a loophole and still messaged each other when we could. However, I am not a patient person and I really wanted to visit her, to see Vivian and enjoy all her sarcasm and humor. So, I came up with the brilliant idea to message her parents without consulting her first. A stupid and impulsive decision. I gathered my courage and sent a message to her mother from my mother's phone since they were friends on the social media platform I used. I got a reply quickly since she had not yet left for work. I was hopeful that maybe I could change her mind, since I know I really couldn't change the father's mind. At first, the conversation was rather light, not what I was expecting. But it got tense quickly, when I sent her a message she misinterpreted as me being rude. I had not meant to be rude or tell her how to punish Vivian, I just wanted her to listen to me and then decide if I was worthy to mingle with their daughter. By the end of the conversation, both myself and Vivian's mother were upset at the other. And Vivian was beyond angry with me. She told me very blatantly that I should have been patient and waited. All I did was upset her mother before work. I felt bad, I knew Vivian had the right to be upset and scold me a little. My own mother, however, did not agree. She started to argue with Vivian, only making her more upset. At this point, I went to the bathroom to calm myself from the nerves I had knotted in my stomach and veins. Within those few measly seconds, I lost my friend. The only person I really depended on and talked to. My world crumbled. My mother had said some very mean and hurtful words to my friend, which made me lose her. I lost my temper. I screamed at my mother, yelled hurtful words that I knew would cause her pain, and walked away. At that point, I did not care about her feelings or my consequences, just as she did not care in those few seconds. I had lost my friend, my best friend. I lost my two lovely cats, and I lost my will to live. All in one summer. Over time, due to the deep emotions that ran through me, I later experienced an emotional burnout. I did not care about anything. I would cause myself pain to feel alive. I had no will to eat, to get out of bed, to do anything other than sleep. Just when I thought, for a few days, I was getting better, my depression and anxiety started pumping throughout my body. I could not stand to be in public or I would start to cause self-harm to relieve the stress in my body. I would scratch and bite my arms and twist my fingers nearly to the point of nearly breaking. I could never stay in class because that alone would cause me to panic. My depression caused me to loathe myself. I hated my very being. If it were not for my therapist and medicine. My friends and family. I don't know if I would be here. I have a different cat named Stella, who is pigeon-toed on her back feet. I also have a guinea pig named Brutus, from Julius Caesar. I am on a different medication. I am finally starting to feel better. I am starting to feel alive again. To everyone else like me, these feelings can be handled. It is not easy to deal with these feelings, it won't just go away, but over time, you will feel better. So just keep marching through the dark, you will find the light.
When I was little, I always dreamed of being a rock star ever since Hannah Montana came out from Disney. Every time the opening plays, I would always be on top of the bed and singing and dancing along while using the remote as a microphone. Sometimes my mother would even scold me for jumping on the bed. Though as I got older, I realized I cannot be a rock star since I was not that musically involved as Hannah was nor did I even have the voice to be one. Then when I was in sixth grade, my English teacher noticed that I was quite good in writing, so she encouraged me to join the school paper in which I did. There, I discovered my talent in journalism something that I did not know I possess. It also happens to be that I was chosen to be a part of a contest, the annual Division of Schools Press Conference, a contest that I had no idea was going to be huge and I was assigned to the Sports writing event. My coach for that event would be no other than our principal himself, a wise man that many people including students and teachers alike respect. To be trained under his wing was an honor because despite the small amount of time I had training under him, I learned a lot from him. When I arrived on the venue, I was surprised at the number of contestants. I felt like I was swimming in an ocean of sharks, but I was not going to let these ‘sharks' intimidate me. After witnessing the live sports event that we were going to cover, I had taken the necessary information needed for my article and proceeded to the room where we will have an hour to formulate an article. I applied everything my coach taught me and submitted my article written in the official paper. The results were to be announced later that day and I did not know what to expect, I did not whether I would win or not, but I thought to myself that someone like me would not stand a chance against those seasoned contestants. But the unbelievable happened, my name was called to come up on stage, a surge of joy and pride ran through my veins. The feeling was foreign to me, but I could not help but smile as I received my medal and certificate, who thought that someone like me who lacks experience would win 2nd place? I was so mind blown that it took a moment for me to register that I would be going to Camiguin for the Regionals. From then on, I became confident with my writing skills and continued to expound my vocabulary by reading articles, books, stories and any reading material I could find. Though as time went by, I realized that as much as I love writing, I did not enjoy it. So, as I continue to find my dream, to find what I really want to become in the future, I let my mind wander by watching films. That is when it hit me, filming and theater arts are the things that I am most passionate about which would explain why I would have the urge to re-enact the most intense scenes of my favorite actors in my own bedroom as a kid. Why I would spend hours back then impersonating people and experimenting on my facial expressions and imitate various accents. The reason why I would be in awe every time an actor has wonderfully delivered and embodied their character, as I pay close attention to detail and dialogue as well as search for any sort of symbolism in movies. It was something that I enjoy. It was something that I look forward in doing soon and as young as I am now, I want to practice it as early as possible. I already have experience in both video and photo editing, my photo capturing has also gotten better and I intend on joining as many workshops as I could that would enhance my potential and my passion in film making grow stronger. There is only one problem that might hinder me from pursuing my dream and that is my family. Mainly because film schools are pricey and as much as I want to pursue it, I do not want to financially burden my family. Also, the last time I opened up to them something similar like theater arts, they were not quite convinced. Even my grandfather was not into the idea of me starring in films because he does not find it practical compared to courses let's say nursing. I admit that broke my heart a little but just because they are not in favor of the idea does not mean I am going to stop myself from pursuing it. Which is why I find ways to enter in different academic institutions that offers courses of my interest by looking up and planning to apply for scholarships. I may still have one more year to worry about it since I am still in Grade 11, but I just want to tell that whoever is reading this, whoever you are, that do not stop dreaming. Pursue it if that is what you truly want. I once read a quote from my school's computer laboratory in which it said, “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” It was a statement that struck me so much that it has instilled itself in my own mind and has become my motivation in life. Because I know one day, we will all achieve it no matter what.
As a Literature specialized student in Le Hong Phong High school for the Gifted, I used to believe, as everyone else in my society, that I am not gifted at those science subjects like math, physics, chemistry, etc,... Doing scientific research is totally out of the question. However, in summer 2017, one of my friends dared me to apply to a science camp in Quy Nhon province and guessed who would be accepted. I accepted that challenge and, surprisingly, I won. That was the turning point that brought me to the path of scientific researching. Coming back from the trip, I decided to apply what I learned by participating the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) of my school. The first step is the hardest. I did not know what topic I should study about. But once again, luck was by my side. I surfed the Internet and came across a video which presented a process of producing plastic food; what surprised me, however, was that numerous people shared that clip these kinds of following captions: “Some bad people with vile purpose are selling that food to kill us”. Incredulous, I looked for information on Google, only to have found that no bad people want to kill us; rather, it was just some kind of Japan's processing technology. That was not the first time I have felt uncomfortable with several individuals sharing news without double-checking the facts. That is an indication of lacking critical thinking (CT). This sparked an idea in me, and I went with CT right away. Then, I had a nice partner, two wonderful mentors, and numerous kind people (even strangers) who was next to me in that difficult reaching the summit trip. Those extraordinary supports are valuable motivation which fuels me to run farther on the scientific researching path, until now. There are no chances and no changes if I did not change my mindset and give myself a chance. Be willing to be exposed, you can fly so far. . Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest is my new chance. Absolutely, the upcoming changes are bigger, better and brighter than that of the past.
Self-Evaluation Exercises for Individuals Self-evaluation every once in a while may render an individual with the prospect of re-assessing oneself, as well as reflect on ones' accomplishments. It is basically a simple procedure to organize one's thought process in order to perceive, analyze and estimate ones own professional action and its consequences in order to improvise and stabilize. Though self-evaluation maybe a very overlooked term, ideally, it increases the capacity of learning among people of all ages and logically goes before any other sort of evaluations. Now the question is, how can self-evaluation be a tool for professional development? Let us take teaching effectiveness as an instance. Professional educators collect various intuitive data' on their on teaching efficacy and try to analyze their involvement while reaching out to the mass audience. Hence, self-evaluation can take on many forms and these different technique methods have found to be very successful. The students role in Self-Evaluation The perception of students' and their learning outcome is very critical to their personal and career development. If the students adapt to various method of evaluation themselves, they'll observe various outcomes from their results and will understand the level of their learning only to find out how much they're lacking or how much they need to cover the concepts in order to pass their individual assessment. From the data of these evaluation records, amusing results are noted. Sometimes, these results indicate that the students' are struggling and their learning aftermath suggests that they're themselves putting restrictions on their method of gathering knowledge. In conclusion, multiple research indicates, that students need more effective and accountable learning methodology to sustain and establish their effective learning outcomes. Approaches and Tools For Personal & Professionals Development Reflection on ones' professional and personal development is essential and enforces an individuals' improvement strategies for further development. Students seeking a higher education with certain academic needs are facing substantial challenges every now and then and need a very supportive learning environment to co-exist. Now, what are some of the human niches that might enable an individual to take measures for contemplating upon oneself while at the same evaluate factors responsible for tailoring a viable career pathway? Temperament Why do you think it would be so difficult for you to be flexible, task-oriented, self-confident in your career while at the same time boosting productivity without having to care what type offensive remarks you're getting from your colleagues? You're pouring heart and soul for your individual development, yet when you self-evaluate yourself, you still find those attributes almost impossible to achieve and you keep on thinking your job is still draining all your energy. Our temperament is an eternal psychological nature that determines how we think, feel and react. It allows us to make interaction, reflect upon the decision we make and apply the abilities we have gathered for development of self and others around us. Hence, it is necessary for us to study our own as well as others temperament type for a better understanding of everyone around us. What are the few modes of temperament? • Successful sanguine Their main strengths are- 1) They're full of confidence and do not take negative remarks. 2) They are sociable and have amazing interpersonal skills 3) They do not torture themselves with hackwork. 4) They are pro-active in any social discussions. • Assertive choleric 1) They are the most ambitious of all temperaments and goal-oriented. 2) They possess strong leadership skills and can exhibit them in projects with immense passion. 3) They are analytical, straightforward and persuasive. • Cool-headed-phlegmatic 1) They are the most special type of employees or student with immense self-control and patience. 2) They do not make any rapid decisions and have fixed habits. 3) They are good team players. • Dreamy melancholy 1) These are the introverted individuals capable of making a pragmatic decision after analytical thinking. 2) They're very shrewd, creative and classy organizer. 3) Strong problem solver. Hence, temperament is the factor which engages us on how to react, behave, think and work. If any of us or around us have any of these temperament moods, they're not an individual peculiarity but possess a psychological nature that can take them to a successful career and a happier life. Personality Insight Developing your personality and career go hand in hand. Here's how- • Your communication style with others will enable you to be in everyone's focus. • Your decision-making style will have everyone put confidence in you. • Once you create a value on your team, people will ask for your opinion as it will be highly valued. .
If there is one thing that I will never be able to forget about my grandfather, it is his voice. The deep and fluid voice that would fill my ears with hundreds upon hundreds of fairy tales as I sat at the edge of my bed with my Princess Ariel blanket wrapped around my shoulders, lingering on the verge of collapsing into the pillows and entering the world of dreams. Under normal circumstances, my grandfather was a man of few words, so when you were granted the priviledge of hearing them, you were expected to listen. But in his time with me, not one second was wasted on silence. He told me the legends of ancient heroes whom sailed the raging waters of the seven seas and endured the deadly winds of blizzards while climbing the highest and steepest mountains. Tales of courageous swordsmen whom rode off into sunsets upon their mighty steeds, taking on dangerous quests, vanquishing the land of evil, and bringing peace and good fortune to the weak and the hungry. Those heroes then returned home to face the thundering of applause and the chants of their names, celebrating with feasts and drinks and songs that may have lasted for days. There, they were embraced by those that loved them, kissed tenderly on the lips by their true loves, and blessed with honor and recognition. Such tales of bravery and nobility my grandfather told, and he told them flawlessly, with animated expressions and vigor. The words spilled from his lips, fluid as a river and smooth as honey, with that voice that had to have been gifted to him from the Divine, a voice created from the music of life itself. This was his purpose, I thought as I listened to his wondrous tales, hooked on every word. To entertain the world and all its people, to touch their hearts with the courage of heroes in hopes that his audience will persevere through their own hardships and come out victorious on the other side. What I wouldn't give to perch myself on the floor at his feet one last time, to inhale the bittersweet smell of his pipe, and to listen to the rhythm and sincerity of that voice. The voice that will guide me through my struggles and my dreams for as long as I live.
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