2017/2018 Yearly Reflection

I often find myself in Meg Murry’s situation, the main character girl in Madeleine L’Engle’s science fantasy novel: A Wrinkle in Time.

Not that I am in her position because I was traveled by a tesseract to rescue my father and brother from this obscure planet, Camazotz, or anything, but it because of the way that she defines herself.

“Maybe I don’t like being different, but I don’t want to be like everyone else, either.”

This single statement from Meg Murry had helped me to get a better insight into myself. It had changed my perspective that life isn’t just about being the same as others or trying to fit in, but it about understanding and accepting who I am. Truthfully, I had always underestimated my own ability to accomplish tasks. I give myself no chance of confronting my flaws. And these things keep happening to me over and over again sometimes it even shifted into a positive feedback loop.

It had been six years since I first enrolled in the Liger Leadership Academy—a school that provided a full scholarship to promising Cambodian children—and things couldn’t get any less easy for me being a high school student. An advanced placement class was taking. Homework was increasing. And college preparation was required. Everything was moving at a cheetah speed toward the next level, but the real question is, am I ready for it?

Do I have to be ready for it?

To grow as a change agent, I must learn to give myself the opportunity to cross the safe-zone line even though I was not preparing for it. Drug usage prevention project, also known as World Renew exploration, was a perfect example of me dealing with my distress. It challenged me to collaborate with students outside my school, World Renew organization, to educate villagers effectively about the adverse effect of illicit drugs.

The project was unprecedented since it was the first one that required me to convey my ideas in Khmer. It was a struggle in this project as I was not a talkative person and was always afraid to raise my voice. Though throughout the process, I keep pushing myself toward the danger zone to help myself thrive and help to run the project smoothly.

Throughout the project, we, I and the other Liger’s students, trained the World Renew’s students on how to use a computer, how to use a camera, how to direct a movie, and most importantly how to run a successful project. They fundamentally learned how to become a leader and how to work as a team. So, instead of directing them on what to do, we facilitated them on those experiences that will play a significant role in their future.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Quote by Lao Tzu)

It may seem to be a really minor change in their life with those experiences but I believe that because of a single brick was being placed that’s why there is a wall standing.

This project had not just created an impact on the World Renew’s students life but also in my life. I had successfully let myself out of the shell. I had chosen to fight the battle instead of hiding behind the bunker. I had chosen to face vulnerability instead of comfortability. This is who I am, the girl who believes in grit and in what her facilitator, Jeff, had said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Rational Function | Precalculus

This year, after the SAT on Oct 6th, I started my precalculus lesson. One of the sections that we covered in this term is called the Rational Function.  If you didn’t know or forget what it is, it’s a function in the form of r(x) = P(x)/Q(x), where P and Q are both polynomials and have graph that look like the picture at your left.  It was quite difficult for me at first to graph this function but once I noticed the pattern, it was fairly easy and straightforward.

In order to graph this rational function:

  1. Factor the numerator and denominator
  2. Look for intercepts: x-intercept is equal to the zeros of the numerator and y-intercept is equal to C value of numerator divide denominator
  3. Find the vertical asymptotes by determine the zeros of the denominator
  4. Figure out the horizontal asymptote by using the rule below. 
  5. Sketch the graph
r(x)= (x-2)/(x^2-2x-8) 
==> (x-2)/(x-4)(x+2)
x-intercept: 2
y-intercept: 1/4
vertical asymptote: -2, 4
horizontal asymptote: 0
slant asymptote: none

We also learned about slant asymptote, where the degree of the numerator is one greater than the denominator. This also means that there will be no horizontal asymptote. We determined the slant asymptote by divide polynomials with each other and we did not obtain its remainder.  Example below!

r(x)= (x^3+8)/(x^2-x-2) 
==> (x^3+8)/(x-2)(x+1)
x-intercept: -2
y-intercept: -4
vertical asymptote: -1,2
horizontal asymptote: none
slant asymptote: y = x+1

Lesson Learned

Besides learning about steps that engineers take to identify problems, brainstorm/assess their ideas, evaluate their product requirement, and build their own prototype; we also looked at different fail engineering projects and evaluated them: Titanic, Tacoma bridge, the Hindenburg and etc. 

Tipping of the Titanic

Image result for titanic sink 1942Most of us might have already heard of this elegant ship that got struck by the iceberg and sank into the Atlantic ocean in 1942, which killed more than 1,500 people. The main reason which causes this largest ship to sink is that of its watertight compartments—which engineers believed could never flood ship—didn’t get sealed and had filled up with water; this led the ship to tilt to one side and eventually sink. 

The Toppling of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

This bridge was built across Puget Sound in Washington. It was a strong, light, narrow, and very flexible. Due to the strong wind (42 mph) on November 7th, 1940, had caused this 2,800-foot (853-m) bridge into a series of torsional oscillations and eventually collapse. 

The Hindenburg Disaster 

The main lesson that we learned from these fail engineering projects is that when we design our product, we have to consider all the possibility that could affect our product and should always test it in the real environment. 

Story of Change

This post will update you about my school newspaper project that I posted last time: previous post link.

In the project, I am the writer and the editor of the “Story of Change” category, which spotlight any changes that occur in our school (75%) and the world (25%). The primary reason that I chose that category is that I love to observe and evaluate the impact that changes have effects on people and their surrounding environment as well as how it shapes people mindset on certain topics. My favorite article that I wrote so far is about the China Belt and Road Initiative. It was very interesting to have a deeper understanding of how this project will shape our world and how different country to react to it. Please check it out below! Please click on this link to check more inspirational and amazing articles. http://ligeredge.org

The Flowing Arteries and the Beating Heart of the Modern World?

The old saying of connectivity “All roads lead to Rome” may soon become “All roads lead to Beijing” in our contemporary world with China’s ambitious infrastructure project.

Continue reading “Story of Change”

S’more | Stoichiometry

Have you had s’more before? What was it like? Was it good? 

If you (like me) didn’t know what the heck it is,  it is an amazing campfire snack in North America (according to Google) but as a Cambodian, I had never heard of or taste it before. Yet, last week in my Chemistry class, we did a S’more Lab to further our understanding and knowledge about limiting reactants (and get to taste it for the first time). 

We were given Graham crackers (Gc), marshmallow (M), chocolate piece (Cp) to make our own s’more. During the lab, we were required to balance out the equation and figure out limiting and excess reactants as well as calculate the experimental and theoretical yield. I have such a great time with my team doing the lab, by the way. 

  2Gc + M  + 3CP → Gc2MCp3   

This lab, not only it’s a lot of fun, but it had helped me to better understand about experimental and theoretical yield since I wasn’t sure on how to apply it into real life. Overall, I had such an incredible time do the lab and be able to learn about limiting reactants and make our own s’more. Yum! Yum!