Saturday, 13 November 2010

Final Reflection

The English course here, as I had expected, was quite different from those in my home university. The classes were fun and more interactive. The workload turned out to be higher, but the good thing is that I learnt more.
Firstly, in the peer lessons, I learnt a lot from my classmates, not only the knowledge, but also the ways how they organized a class. When I reviewed my peer lesson after attending theirs, I got to know where I needed to improve for my peer lesson. After that, we practiced writing a resume and an application letter. Although I had written resumes before, I did not know what was good or bad about my resume because nobody had given me feedback about that. The comments given by Brad turned out to be very useful. Also, the mock interviews allowed me to practice interview skills in a half-real interview situation, which helped me to accumulate some interview experience. Then, in the project, we practiced writing and presentation skills again. I think I did better this time, especially in the presentation. The presentation video also helped me to know more about my own presentation. Moreover, the blogging activity forced me to continuously practice my writing skills. Although I know that continuous practice is vital for improving writing skills, I will not have the motivation to practice if it is not an assignment. Finally, I love the oral interactions in class. They did not only make the classes lively and interesting but also helped me learn some foreign culture and allowed me to share Chinese culture with my classmates.
In conclusion, there are many take-away points for me from this course. The above are just those academic or career-related skills. Apart from that, we learnt from each other from the interaction in every class. For example, the two main points Brad emphasized again and again about intercultural communication are definitely what we will take away from this course.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Reflection on My Oral Presentation

Reviewing my own presentation and having others’ reflections on my presentation are good ways of learning. When I watched the video of my presentation today, I really found many interesting things that I had never realized before. My reviews on my presentation are as follows.
As regards my strength, I think the structure of my presentation was quite clear. Also, in this presentation, I tried not to refer to the slides when I did not need to point out something on it. The result was that I referred much less to the slides than before. That was my progress. In addition, I think I also had good eye contact.
With regard to weakness, when I watched the video, the first thing I realized was that my English pronunciation is so Chinese! Although I can hear myself when I am speaking, I had never realized my pronunciation is so Chinese before I watched the video. Also, I think my delivery was not fluent enough. What I feel is that the presentation does not sound comfortable. Moreover, my presentation was lacking in interaction with the audience. That means my presentation did not properly lead the audience to think about the points that I had presented. Consequently, the presentation was not so persuasive as an interactive one. Finally, my response to questions was bad. When asked an unexpected question by Nan, I was very nervous and did not answer it well.
These are my reviews on my own presentation. Everyone is welcomed to leave feedback on my presentation here as comments. Every piece of feedback will be appreciated and valued. Thank you.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Party Culture

When I was in America last summer, I worked in an amusement park with a group of kind people. Most of them were locals and Europeans. They held a party every Monday and they invited me every time, but most of the time, I refused. Gradually, I felt they seemed not to like me. Maybe they felt I was a person that did not want to get along with others.
Now, in Singapore, I have two European housemates. They have a party every Saturday night. Typically, thirty or forty people gathered right outside our house, chatting and playing some games. That is really noisy to me, a person who does not like these parties.
These minor conflicts are due to the huge difference between western and eastern party cultures.  Firstly, on our eastern parties, if I could call them parties, we typically have a dinner in a famous restaurant with all of us seated around one big table, and then go to KTV to sing some songs together after dinner. Therefore, most of us would feel bored on the parties of western style, with everyone standing, holding a drink, walking around to chat and playing some games. That was the reason why I refused my crew members’ invitation to their parties. However, they did not know that, so they thought I did not want to get along well with them. Secondly, eastern people do not hold parties so frequently. We have a party only when we have something to celebrate or we have a re-union with old friends. Thus, I cannot bear my housemates holding parties right outside our house every week.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Application Letter

Internship Description
Internship China: Web Application and Mobile Games Design

Software Development with Mobile Game, Mobile Application and Web/Wap Application design company, based in Beijing.

The internship:

-Work on a Web/Wap application development involving communication with Mobile phone and SMS/MMS center.

- Contribute to each task of the development process (Spec, Design, development & testing).

Intern Qualifications:

1. Love for building great software

2. Adaptability to learn and work with many different technologies

3. Ability to work with little supervision

4. Resourcefulness in solving problems. Especially skill in finding existing solutions on the internet as well as building your own

5. Willingness to ask for help and to help other engineers

6. Ability to read and write English for dealing with documents and email

7. Be familiar with Web technology like: PHP/MySql, J2EE/Spring/Hibernate, Python/Twisted/Turbogear, …

8. Knowledge Flash development will also be highly considered. Previous experience in Web App development will also be appreciated

Application Letter

Block 69, Commonwealth Drive, #02-235

Singapore 140069


September 3, 2010

Mr. Shaoli Zhang

Personnel Director

China Mobile

29 Finance Road

Beijing, China 100053

Dear Mr. Zhang:

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Internet and Multimedia Technologies in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and I am looking for an internship in Beijing. I read on of your need for a web applications and mobile games programmer. I believe I am qualified for that position.

Last summer, I worked in an IT company in Hong Kong as a web programmer for two months. I worked with a group of engineers on a Java project. From that experience, I learnt how to cooperate with my colleagues efficiently on a programming project and how to find knowledge that I have never learnt in classes. Also, I fell in love with software development because of that job.

In addition to that, I have an excellent academic record. I have won the Best Academic Performance Award of my department twice in the past three years. Specifically, in the courses Mobile Computing, which teaches Web/Wap applications development associated with mobile phones, and Web Technologies, I got grades of A+. Therefore, I believe I have a comprehensive grasp of web applications and mobile games development.

Moreover, I was a committee member of English Club in my university last year. As the official language was English, I dealt with a lot of English documents and emails while running that club. Thus, I think it will not be difficult for me to deal with English documents and emails at work.

China Mobile is the best communication company in China and it will be an honor for me to work there. I would really appreciate it if you could offer me an opportunity to interview. I can be contacted at 12345678 on phone or by email. Thank you for your consideration.


(my signature)

LIU Long


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Interpersonal Conflict

The conflict I will describe happened on QQ, which is the Chinese version of MSN. The people involved are one of my friends and me. She is my secondary school mate and studying at NUS now. She is older than me, but like many other Chinese students here, she had to study 20-month transitional courses before she could start her university study, so she is actually in Year 2 now, one year later than me. As it is the first time that I have been in Singapore and I am actually a freshman to NUS, I really need someone to answer my questions and help me to settle down here. Therefore, I referred to her for help.

One day, when I asked her some questions on QQ, she was very helpful as usual. After she answered me, she said she felt she was like my senior. As a joke, I said “Thank you, senior sister.” She also perceived it as a joke and said “haha” to me. I called her senior sister three or four times that day and nothing got wrong. However, on the next day, when I said “Thank you, senior sister” as a joke again after I asked her questions, she got angry. “Do you know how annoying you are” said she “I already feel I am old and I have wasted one year. Still, you are calling me senior sister all the time!” Seeing that, I got really ashamed and did not know what to say but to apologize.

Could you help me to analyze this conflict to avoid similar incidents? I will value every feedback to me.

About Myself

Hello, everyone!

I am Leo. Actually, my legal name is LIU Long. I chose the English name "Leo" just because it sounds similar to my surname. I am an exchange student from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, but my hometown is in Liaoning in mainland China.  My major is Internet and Multimedia Technologies.  I am in Year 3.

Like many other boys at my age, I liked playing computer games. However, I get bored with those games recently. I do not know why. Now, I would like to travel around rather than stay in my room, being a homebody. I like swimming. Actually, I started to learn swimming just four weeks ago in Singapore!! I can swim breaststroke now and I am still learning the crawl. I really enjoy it. I also like playing the piano. When I was learning it eight or nine years ago, all the pieces that I was taught were classical music. Honestly, I really do not understand classical music. I do not know what the composers want to express. I think my level of appreciation is not so high yet. Therefore, now, I would like to play some pop music instead, and sometimes I play with singing. I enjoy singing. It is a good way to release my emotions. It really makes me happy.

Singapore is not the first foreign country that I have been to. I have been to America last summer actually, and the state I have stayed in is Ohio! I worked in Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky. I do not know whether Brad knows that park. I have to say it is really an amazing park! The roller coasters there are awesome!! I have a lot of happy memories there with my friends. I am still missing it. hehe....

Ok. I think that is all that I want to say about myself. I hope everyone knows me better now.