My Daily Reflections

3 November 2011

3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. Today, Miss Wang shared about the different cultures in an informal context. The main part of it was about food. Since last night, we have been eating Northern Chinese cuisines at Jiuhua Resort and Convention Centre. Personally, I am not used to the food. To me, the food is not as pleasant as those I eat in Singapore because I am not used to it. This is interesting for me as I have to learn to appreciate the different culture and learn to eat their food too, even if I have to force it down my throat with water.

2. I also experienced the desperate atmosphere during the competition in the afternoon especially. This is my first time participating in such a high-level competition and the format of it is very new to me as well. Some of the questions look very unfamiliar and I was unable to solve them. However, we did try our best and we have gained valuable experience.

3. Moreover, today is the second day I experience the strict censorship in China. I am unable to go to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and I do feel very detached from the Singaporean society. For the rest of the remaining eleven days, I would be experiencing this blockage. I guess it would be a good experience for me to learn how to explore different means of communication.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt how to work as a team during the Team Round. The questions were exceptionally hard and therefore, I did not know how to do most of the questions. Therefore, I attempted the easier questions and the rest solved the harder questions so that we make full use of the 40 minutes given to us.

2. Another thing I learnt was patience. During the Relay Round, when they announced that it was 30 seconds to the 5-minute mark, I felt very anxious and impatient as Joshua had not passed me a slip of answer yet. I learnt to be patient and work as a group, so that we do not panic and make careless mistakes.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I would like to learn more about the differences between the Northern and Southern part of China. Specifically, I would like to learn about food and culture as these are major parts of what define a state.


4 November 2011

3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. The trip to Forbidden City was extremely enriching as the place was huge and magnificent. The similarity in design in all the rooms with only slight differences in every one makes it unique. The effect created is very special and really made the whole experience very extraordinary.

2. The trip to Beihai Park was very interesting as well. I took many photos of and with the beautiful scenery there and I feel that it is a great opportunity to be close with nature.

3. Shopping was also a different experience for me as well. I expected goods sold in China to be very cheap, but in fact, they sold many expensive real branded goods as well, which I could not afford unfortunately. There are pros and cons to tourists. On one hand, it is good to get the real thing, but on the other hand, tourists may not be able to afford it as they did not expect to encounter real goods.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt to be sensitive to others’ different pronunciations and enunciations of words, and not laugh and joke about it.

2. I also learnt table manners such as saying that we are leaving before we leave the table.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I would like to learn more about ancient Chinese royal culture as I was unable to hear what the tour guide was saying yesterday. I only heard a bit of what she said. For instance, concubines are unable to remarry and have to stay in the palace for all their lives, even if they are not the empress.

5 November 2011

3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. The weather today was very cold, and I was shivering non-stop.

2. Today was the first time I climbed the Great Wall, and it was really an extraordinary experience for me. The scenery up there was beautiful and breathtaking. Moreover, the similar designs and slight changes to ever stage, similar to Forbidden City, makes it great as well.

3. The dinner today was exceptionally good as Miss Wang treated us to a dinner at a better restaurant around the area. It was great as it leaves a happy memory in Beijing.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. The presence of competition spurs people to strive for better achievements. The absence of competition removes the drive to work harder. This was said by Miss Wang during our dinner together today. Personally, I agree with this statement. Only with competition will we find the drive to go on and do our best, in order to achieve our full potential.

2. I learnt about in different countries, there are different cultures. We should learn to understand their culture and why they do certain things. This should come as a natural thinking process to us after much exposure to different cultures around the world. Therefore, I am thankful for this opportunity to come to Beijing for me to experience a different culture.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I would like to learn more about the uses of Great Wall in ancient China as there was no tour guide today and no one really explained the uses of it to us.
7 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. I got 18 mosquito bites last night while sleeping. I have always been attracting lots of mosquitoes and getting lots of mosquito bites since I was young. Whenever I go to a place with mosquitoes, I would always be the one getting it first and getting the most of it. The mosquitoes made me had a hard time sleeping as I kept waking up and I could not sleep because the bites were too itchy. Moreover, I tried hiding under the blanket to avoid the mosquitoes but they still found their way in. And it was really hot under the blanket, making it even harder for me to sleep. Furthermore, I set alarm at 12am, 2am and 6am to wake up to check if Nathan was sleeping well as he was having fever.

2. Nathan has got fever since yesterday. Although he has recovered this morning, he got fever again at night. Currently, he is being isolated and I have moved to Jian Shern's room. He seems to be suffering a lot from the illness and I sincerely hope he can get well soon. He also has rashes on his hands which even the teachers are unsure of what they are and what they symbolise.
3. Today, during the training, I saw that they used blackboard and chalk. The blackboard and chalk were the usual ones, but the duster was very special. They use a machine resembling a vaccum cleaner to clean the board. I think this is very creative as it is the not the traditional duster and it does not pollute the air.
2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. From the speech today, I learnt that using simple methods to solve complicated problems are the best way to do things. I really agree with what he says as sometimes the most complicated questions can be solved by simple methods. Therefore, we should strengthen our foundation as well as improving on our skills. In this way, we can solve many sorts of easy and complicated questions.
2. It was a great revision for me during training today. Many questions seemed familiar but I just could not recall the solution. After revision, the impression is much deeper and when I encounter similar questions in future, I can apply the methods to solve them. For instance, looking for congruent triangles through same angles. Some angles of the same values are not that obvious, and we have to pay attention to right angles and anything that may link the two angles together.
1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I would like to learn how to solve Question 15 as I still do not understand how to apply Sine or Cosine Rule on it.
8 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. In the afternoon lesson, the teacher shared some stories with us. One of which was about his encounter with a fortune-teller. His surname was 钟, which is in Traditional Chinese. The word can be split into three parts, 土, 田 and 千金. The first word represents the plus minus sign, in which the fortune teller predicted that his occupation was something to do with numbers. The second word represents the surname of someone important in his life, which happens to be his wife. And the last word represents that he will have a daughter. This is rather interesting and really makes the atmosphere of the lesson lighter.

2. The teacher also shared another story. In Yan-an High School, there are a couple who work as teachers, whose surnames are 吕 and 高. And in some way, they gave birth to twins, since both of their surnames have two mouths each.

3. I still have mosuito bites, although they are getting better. I recounted and I found 23 mosquito bites, because I forgot to count 2 on my ears, 1 on my left pinkie, 1 on my right thumb and 1 under my right foot. To be exact, all are getting better except those on my fingers, probably because I use them more frequently.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. Today, I learnt how a simple theorem like Pythagoras Theorem can have so many applications and can solve many problems. Also, simple properties of special triangles can be used to solve very complicated questions too.
2. I learnt to set my alarm at the right time. I always set the alarm too early and go back to sleep afterwards. In the end, I wake up late (15 minutes before breakfast), and I have to rush.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I am still puzzled over how Question 10 of the worksheet given this morning can be solved.



9 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. Today we went for the Sightseeing Tours, which were really fantastic because the effects of the light and the images surrounding our train were really awesome. And taking photos before and after it was fun too.

2. We got lost on our way back to the hostel.

3. During the morning and afternoon lessons, I absorbed very little as the teacher was speaking too fast and I was unable to catch certain parts of his explanation.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt about the different properties of quadrilaterals and their names in Chinese.

2. I learnt not to sleep back after waking up. I woke up at 6, went back to sleep, woke up again at 6.15, went back to sleep, woke up again at 6.30, went back to sleep until Jian Shern called me up at 7.28am for breakfast. I rushed to brush my teeth and wash up before rushing down for breakfast.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)
OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)

1. I am still puzzled over how ratios of the lengths of lines can be used to solved complicated questions as the extra lines needed to be drawn are often concealed very well.


10 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)


1. The lesson pace for the afternoon session was alright and I could absorb much more than usual. However, there were some terms which I didn't know in Chinese, so I took a longer time to digest what the teacher was talking about.

2. Today, Ivan, Nathan and I stayed in a room and played Puzzle Pirates together for some time. It was really fun and exciting and I really enjoyed myself.

3. I got up myself today. When I woke up, I did not go back to sleep, but instead, packed my luggage as it was very messy. b

2 important lessons that I learnt today.
(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt about some new properties of circles.

2. I learnt that technology may not be such a bane as people describe it as a barrier of communication. Instead, I feel that it is a good platform for people to interact and have fun together.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)

OR
1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)


1. I am still puzzled as to how the number of important lines and points can be reduced by changing the ratios of certain lines to other ratios.


11 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)
1. The morning lesson on circles was extremely challenging as we are all very unfamiliar with problems relating to circles and our eyes are not used to spotting cyclic quadrilaterals through various clues.

2. Ivan told us his sister's Chinese name today during the break, but he did not say directly. He gave us clues and let us guess, and we had lots of laughter attempting to get the right name.



3. I downloaded Funshion and watched a few episodes of my favourite show I have seen in China so far, 爱情连连看. It is a matchmaking show and I really feel it is very amazing and awesome.
2 important lessons that I learnt today.

(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. We learnt Menelaus and Ceva Theorems,

2. I learnt that love is about finding someone suitable for you, not the one who is the best or the most popular. No matter how good the qualifications of the other person is, it is more about how suitable he/she is for us.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)

OR

1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)


1. I am still puzzled over how Menelaus and Ceva Theorems can be applied fully.


12 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)
1. Ivan told us he met a fortune-teller today outside the bookstore. She told him that there were three places he should not go, and offered to reveal one of the places for free. After Nathan and I heard it, we became curious and went out of the bookstore as well to find the fortuneteller. We followed her around, seeing her go around asking people whether they wanted any fortunetelling. It was overall fun experience.


2. Someone approached us for a survey, and I did not know what it is about, thus I did not agree to take part. I was afraid that she might be a conman and thus to be safe, I rejected.
3. While shopping today, Nathan and I passed by a competition which was going on. The performers performed a performance of another country's culture. It was very interesting and the performances were great.

2 important lessons that I learnt today.

(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt that having fun can be very simple, especially with friends and family.

2. It is very important to embrace other countries' cultures. China has shown that they embrace other countries' cultures by holding the competition, which is the 13th time they hold this competition already.

1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)

OR

1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)


1. I am still puzzled over why the fortunetellers ran into the bookstore when the police came to check for illegal parking. If they haven't done anything wrong, why are they so scared of the police?



13 November 2011
3 interesting things that I would like to share with friends/family from today’s experience.
(Note: “Experience” can be from competition, lesson, or trip.)

1. The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum was a really great eye-opener as they had many interesting exhibitions which uses simple devices to explain complicated principles. Moreover, I really enjoyed the "Spectrum of Life" as there was a variety of animals there, both real and fake. The "fake" ones looked very real too.

2. 小笼包 were very nice. I fell in love with them when I first ate them in Singapore. The ones I ate today were very delicious as well. The soup and the meat inside the 小笼包 are extremely great.

3. Yu Yuan very beautiful scenery. It was really a pity that my camera ran out of battery.
2 important lessons that I learnt today.

(Note: on the training days, you are REQUIRED to reflect on the academic aspect of lessons; on the other days, you may mention soft skills learnt from that day’s experience. Please be specific in your reflection.)

1. I learnt that 12 yuan noodles can make people feel very full too.
2. I learnt that playing Poker without real money is so much fun.


1 question that I still do not understand from today’s lesson. (- applicable on the training days)

OR

1 thing that I wish to know more from today’s experience. (- applicable on the non-training days)


1. I want to know how the tap can float in mid-air.