Monday, November 10, 2008

The Beginning

At the beginning of this course, I have stated that communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs, between 2 or more parties (as defined by and throughout the course, if there was any change to my value of effective communication, it probably grew stronger.

Having interacted with classmates from different backgrounds and nationalities, who have been exposed to different education and cultures, we have had quite a bit of disagreements on the different issues we came across throughout the course of the module. The best part was that my comment on Weiren's blog actually drew responses from people from other countries! (My comments had the tendency of drawing MANY feedbacks...) And from that incident alone we were able to see that there were indeed major differences in the thinking of people from different backgrounds and when one refuses to "listen" to what the other has got to say, there won't be any effective communication between them at all. Inter-cultural communication still poses a great challenge for me and I foresee myself facing a lot more of such communication problems next year when I am at the USA.

One of the things I have learnt was that during a disagreement, one of the parties definitely has to step back in order to review the whole situation and think of how things can be resolved, even if a consensus could not be reached. If both sides keep trying to reiterate their points, thinking that just by saying them a few more times and louder, the opposite party would understand, they are wrong.

One of the reasons why this module has been so enjoyable is because it allowed us to really interact and communicate with one another, unlike my core module lectures which I normally either sleep through or can barely keep myself semi-conscious during them. The activities and assignments were really useful and practical as they really helped us prepare for our job applications in the future.

Why this entry is named "The Beginning" is not only because I was required to talk about the beginning, but because to me, and I am sure to many of us, this is just the beginning. Many of us will be graduating in 1 or 2 years and when we start working, it would be time for us to put what we have learnt in this course "Professional Communication" into practical use. And by then, I hope many of us would still be able to recall the fun and laughter we shared during the classes and smile when you do. Good luck to the Zoo-Keeper Wanna-Bes, the Forever-Grouchy-Looking Dude, the Ever-MIA Classmate, the Nine-To-The-Power-Of-3 Interviewee and everyone else (I can't come up with nicknames for everyone :p).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, the son of a father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, was elected the nation's 44th president Tuesday, breaking the ultimate racial barrier to become the first African American to claim the country's highest office.

A nation founded by slave owners and seared by civil war and generations of racial strife delivered a smashing electoral college victory to the 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, who forged a broad, multiracial, multiethnic coalition. His victory was a leap in the march toward equality: When Obama was born, people with his skin color could not even vote in parts of America, and many were killed for trying.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," Obama told more than 240,000 celebrants gathered along Chicago's waterfront. Many had tears streaking their faces.

"It's been a long time coming," said Obama, who strode on stage with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia. "But tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Infomercial

The infomercial is just great. Although spending 4 millions making this infomercial seems a little steep, if he is able to fulfil what he promised the Americans, I guess this 4 millions spent is well-justified. The result of the election will be out in just a few hours' time and the outcome is going to affect not just the Americans, but everyone of us, directly or indirectly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lyon's Biodata

Lyon is an NUS undergraduate pursuing a bachelor degree in Life Sciences with concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Besides his passion in biology. Lyon has strong interest in business management as well. He continuously strives to gain knowledge in marketing field by taking related courses and participating in relevant activities. He is currently the marketing director of NUSSU Travel Service Executive Committee and he has been selected to head a few major school events in the past 2 years. Despite being heavily involved in major school events and projects, he has consistently achieved satisfactory standards in academic performance.

Lyon is an enthusiastic learner and he enjoys working with people. He is also most willing to share knowledge and experiences with others. Lyon works well both independently and as a team player. He believes in assuming responsibilities and embracing leadership in his undertakings. He could be considered passionate and dedicated to the work he does.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sarah Palin VS Hillary Clinton

For those of you who have been following the US politics closely, this is hilarious. I personally feel that Sarah Palin just does not qiute meet the mark. "I can see Russia from my house!" That is a classic!

Is That Brad?!

Came across this commercial on Youtube and I thought I saw Brad! Watch out for the guy which appears at around the 15th second.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reflections on the Research Project

The project has been so far, a very unexpectedly smooth one.

Before I started with this project, I had anticipated a lot of hiccups, falling behind the schedule, shirking of responsibilities. However, none of those happened throughout the whole process of doing the project. Everyone was on time, on target and even went an extra mile each time just to make sure that everything could go according to the plan.

The role of each member in my group was not well-defined at the start of the project, but everyone somehow just settled into their own areas of specialisation as the time went by. Besides writing our own parts for the report, we have contributed to this group project in our own unique ways. Jun Rong, being from Special Project in Science, have much more exposure to writing of reports and conducting of researches, contributed greatly in shaping our reports and making look as professional as we could possibly make it. Tiffany, who is very good with details and administrative matters and has an excellent command of English, coordinated all the meetings and distributions of work. She also collated, edited and finalised our work before compiling them. As for me, being a shrewd person and perfectionist at the same time, I provided insightful opinions with regards to the analysing of our results and counter arguments to our own analysis in order to make sure that our work is unbiased, all-rounded and realistic.

After this project, I am thoroughly convinced that meetings can be short and effective at the same time. Our group exploited IT by communicating mainly through emails. We normally had short meetings of around half an hour after ES seminar to discuss the general direction of our project and dedication of tasks to the individuals. Under time constraint, communication was forced to be short and crystal clear, leaving no room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. Everyone was punctual for their own parts of the work distributed and that made the compiling much easier for Tiffany. I strongly suspect that the uncanny efficiency of everyone was largely due to the fact that we are already into our 3rd year in NUS. With the experiences and skills we have gained over the past 3 years, I believe everyone now not only understand the pain of having to rush projects at the last moment, but also have mastered the ability to conduct secondary research required for our project efficiently with the help of Internet. However, we understand that over-reliance on online sources can be a dangerous thing as some of them might not be accurate or reliable. We do need to fall back on the good old books in the libraries.

The skill of communicating clearly and efficiently could be and should be extended to our oral presentation. Again, this is to cut down unnecessary time spent on doing redundant things which overlap with one another. However, as the next project is in the form of oral expression, I believe we cannot rely on communicating with each other through emails again like we did. The time for meeting one another face-to-face and speaking with one another using verbal and non-verbal forms of languages has come.