If – Poem

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet you don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And- which is more- you’ll be a Man, my son!


-Rudyard Kipling

How Important is Meaningful Work?

This is a fast and interesting read on behavioral psychology. Dan Ariely’s life experiences and his reasoning for his research, which is based on how people think and what makes them do things the way they do, are the main topics of his books. Here is what I got out of the book.

Chapter 2 – Meaningful Work

Let’s say your boss tells you to complete a project (perhaps a powerpoint presentation). After you worked on it long and hard, you hand it to your boss and he tells you, “Good job, but we won’t be using it,” and then proceeds to hand you a check (sure, it can be a big check and as the book’s example used – they also got someone else to do laundry for the individual).

How would you feel?

The next time your boss hands you a project, you may not work on it as hard because you found that your work has no meaning and no one out there will be able to see the work that you put into it. Even though you get paid, the self internal drive to care about the work that you is decreased tremendously because you found that your work doesn’t mean anything.

However, if you were put into a situation where you have meaning in your work (perhaps you have some mission, philosophy, vision and/or goal), then chances are, you will work on it longer.

If you have meaning in your work AND you already have an internal drive – motivation – to do your work, then the work output increases at a much higher rate.

One topic Ariely discussed is a research project on rats. The results showed us that we like to EARN our award and not merely be given an award. We like to be challenged, we like to figure out puzzles, and we like to see our results at the end.

Does Getting Paid $$$ Mean You’ll Do More?

This is a fast and interesting read. You will read about his life experiences and his reasoning for his research, which is based on how people think and what makes them do things the way they do. Here is what I got out of the book.

Chapter 1 – Paid More for Less

Essentially, there is a happy balance point that allows people to be happy with how much they are paid and allow them to complete their work without feeling completely overwhelmed. Obviously, those who aren’t paid enough will not do a good job. However, if a person is paid a huge bonus, that pressure to perform decreases a person’s ability to do the best work at hand and ultimately causes a person to crack. Shelling out the big bucks isn’t what’s best for society and for the person himself.

Things You Hate Doing Should Be Completed Without Interruption

This is a fast and interesting read. You will read about his research, his life experiences, and other related research. The author, Dan Ariely, has a PhD in cognitive psychology and business administration. Therefore, a lot of his research is based on how people think and what makes them do things the way they do. Here is what I got out of the book.

Chapter 6 – Adaptation

We tend to procrastinate things that we don’t enjoy doing. However, it has been found that it is best to group everything that we don’t enjoy doing together and get it done all at once (such as doing chores, laundry, cleaning, etc) because when there’s an interruption to something that we don’t like, it just makes it worse than if we did just did it all at once since we have adapted to it ~~ especially considering that humans adapt quickly.

Likewise, it is much better to break up pleasurable activities because each time we start something we enjoy, we get a jolt of joy. That means if you enjoy buying clothes, then it is better to buy a piece one month, and wait until your joy has runout before purchasing another item rather than buying all of the clothes you think you need for a season, year, or whatever long timeframe. This also applies for the length of vacation. It is better to have short vacation trips, such as an overnight camping and boating, than to have a longer vacation. This longer vacation will cause a person to adapt to the pleasure and it will soon no longer be as exciting. On the other hand, a short vacation will be something that will stick in your mind much longer since you will not have enough time to adapt to something so new.

Humans have a difficult time knowing what will make them happy for a long time. Some people will think, this car (or laptop, house, etc) will make me happy for a long time. But eventually, people will adapt to the new product, and the excitement will fade. Soon, another item will need to be there to satisfy the human craving for pleasant things.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth – Five Stars

This book is the second of a trilogy and I have to admit: It is just as great as the first book – Divergent. In this book, the main character expands her world even bigger than before -in a Dystopian Chicago – in this thrilling video-game like book. You feel a lot of depth for these characters and feel drawn to what will happen to them next. At the end is a cliffhanger — and we will have to wait until autumn of 2013 before the last book comes out!


How Mistakes Can Make You Smarter | Psychology Today

People who think that intelligence is malleable — that we get really good at something by dedicated practicing, not innate brilliance — pay more attention to mistakes. People who think that intelligence is fixed — you’re either good at something or you’re not – pay less attention to, and are less likely to learn from, mistakes.

via How Mistakes Can Make You Smarter | Psychology Today.

Pills Prevent H.I.V. Infection in 2 New Studies – NYTimes.com

As it becomes ever clearer that modern antiretroviral drugs can not only treat the disease but prevent it, pressure is likely to increase on donors to find more money to supply them in places like Africa and on pharmaceutical manufacturers to either sell them cheaply or release their patents to companies that can.

“This is an extremely exciting day for H.I.V. prevention,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “It’s clear we’re not going to find a magic pill that prevents it, but this is adding more to the tool kit.”

Until a few years ago, condoms and abstinence were alone in that tool kit. Recent studies have added circumcision, vaginal microbicides, a daily pill for the uninfected (known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and early treatment for the infected (known as “treatment as prevention”).

via Pills Prevent H.I.V. Infection in 2 New Studies – NYTimes.com.

Wait to Restart Birth Control Pills, C.D.C. Says – NYTimes.com

Women who have just given birth should wait at least three weeks before they start using birth control pills because of the risk of serious, potentially fatal blood clots, public health officials announced last week. Women who deliver by Caesarean section or have other risk factors for blood clots — like obesity or a history of previous blood clots — should wait at least six weeks before using these medications, they said.

via Wait to Restart Birth Control Pills, C.D.C. Says – NYTimes.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A feature on area youth who are leaders and volunteers in their communities. The teens featured were nominated for The Ann Arbor News’ Young Citizen of the Year award.

Jessica Chang

High school: Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.

Grade: Graduated.

Parents: Jimmy and Theresa Chang.

School activities: President of Asian Student Union, webmaster of Rotary’s Interact Club, lead team member of Leap the Gap project from Youth Senate.

Community activities: Taught English to young children, created brochures for the Caregiver’s Day conference, raised money for tsunami relief in southeast Asia and earthquake aid in Pakistan. Also donated blood.

Post high school plans: Will attend the New York Institute of Technology as part of a seven-year bachelor of science/doctor of osteopathic medicine program.

Why is community service an important part of your life?

“The community has provided a lot for me, and I believe that it is important to give back even more. It brings people together to make the town a better place and generates new ideas.”

What do you wish to tell other students about the value of community service?

“What you do will make a big impact on someone else’s life, no matter how small or insignificant you think the service is. People appreciate those who help. Thus, in turn, you will receive help when you need it.”


I’m back at school

wow, it’s already been 4 weeks of school and it doesn’t really seem like it. Until now.

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t typed in this thing in forever. It wasn’t until I saw Sunny on it that I checked mine out again.

Life has been alright. I know a few people on campus, but I haven’t been really close to any of them except Justine. And that’s only because one, we’re both orientals and we’re in three classes together (and have similar classes). I hope to make more friends, but my first concern is testing. And doing well. And not failing biology lab. I really don’t want that to happen. As long as I study for the labs and type up lab reports, right??! Well, it’s kinda annoying because he’s not very clear about what he wants in his lab report.

Introduction, Hypothesis, Procedure, Data, Conclusion.

Okay, intro, procedure, and data I got. But what kind of hypothesis do we come up with on our own? Uh, we expect the potato juice to turn black in the iodine test because that tests for starch… but what about when you have unknowns???!

Anyway, life is good so far.

I studied with Justine and Pearl at the Flushing Library today. I thought I was really behind (I have one more chapter to go), but they are only half way through the first chapter… I guess they should probably start earlier next time (me too).

Calc… I hope I got 20/20 on my quiz again. I didn’t know how to show something so I wrote a long paragraph describing why something was the way it was.

Chem, review session on Tuesday on all the hw and test on Thursday. I am soo freaked out. 20 questions, 5 points each!?????! OMG, that is so crazy!! If you get one wrong, you’re down 5 percent. I have to get everything right… it should be a piece of pie.

3 tests. First one Tuesday. Wish me luck.

I’m working on getting my study habits down. Preview text + write down definitions (if poss, understand concepts), take notes in class, review notes, reread text + fill in the gaps w/ more detail, do hw/questions, and formulate test questions. Review class notes and text notes daily. Ask questions to myself daily. Repeat for every lecture.

Can I do it??

Yes I can (wow, I feel like bob the builder).

Well, I need to revamp this site so I like it more so I’ll type here more. I have this amazing travel blog going up so once it’s up and running, I’ll link it.