Social Items

Part 1: Services

Date: 25/09/2019, 27/09/2019
Timing: 13:00 - 13:45, 15:00 - 16:30
Hours completed: 2.25

Hope Foster Home

There were only a few grade 9s in the GC. I was in the decoration group, which is in charge of the decoration of the Chinese Food Stall on UN Night. I got two tasks: to write chunlian (Chinese antithetical couplet), which will be stick on two sides of the display board behind our food stall, and to decorate a poster that will be stuck in front of the table (hanging on the edge).

Rainforest Restoration Project

This is the second time for me to do the GC. Our aim is to water the plants on campus, plant more plants, and make a difference little by little to make a change. Plants we planted include longans and durians. The process of it was simple, and almost everyone knows it: just put the seed into the soil and water it. However, most people do not know the details of planting a plant and how careful you need to be. For example, soil cannot be too fertile, or else the tree will not be able to adapt to the natural environment after it grows up and needs to be planted into the school garden, instead of the pot. When putting the seed into the soil, dig a hole instead of pushing the seed into the soil. The soil cannot be too tight too, or else roots from the seed will not be strong enough to go through the soil.

Above is the durian I planted

From the experience I understood that saving the environment wasn’t as easy as it seemed, even planting a plant requires lots of skills and knowledge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7LmabSnmAM
Above is a video that shows steps to plant a durian tree. Although the one I planted was a seed and not a tree, it still shows the steps it takes to plant a plant.


Date: 02/10/2019, 04/10/2019
Timing: 13:00 - 13:45, 15:00 - 16:30
Hours completed: 2.25

Hope Foster Home

Me and Jingyu started decorating the poster. The draft we created was like this:


I felt quite proud of myself. Designing things (sometimes just random ideas) has always been one of my greatest hobbies (Website with my designs). I love fiddling around elements (icons, images) to create things with amazing appearances (sometimes). Now we got the general appearance of the final poster. I also felt really happy that my designs would be able to help those orphans or kids with disabilities in Beijing. It is an amazing thing that my hobby was meaningful and can make changes to the world.

Rainforest Restoration Project

This is the second week since we planted the durians.


My Durian has sprouted in 1 week


A closer look

This week we learned about different fertilizers, there was one for leaves with bugs and the other for dried leaves. We actually took a watering can and watered the fertilizers onto the leaves. I felt so good as it does not take much energy for me to water the fertilizers for the plants, yet it would keep the plants from dying and stay green for another year, making our campus “greener”.


Date: 09/10/2019, 11/10/2019
Timing: 13:00 - 13:45, 15:00 - 16:30
Hours completed: 0.75, 1.5

Hope Foster Home

This week we were still improving the poster design. This is the one we have now:


We will be adding contents from the official website of Hope Foster Home: https://newhope.foundation, then we are done.


We are making impressive designs!

Also, I finished my chunlians:




I could not wait to help in the Chinese Food Stall during UN Night! I have never felt so willing to participate, but I think that the more you participated in preparing for UN Night, the more you want to help on the actual day.

Rainforest Restoration Project

As usual, a picture of the durian first. My durian has changed color. It looks more like a trunk than before.


We did some usual work like watering the plants, weeding, and putting some pesticides onto leaves. It was quite annoying to get soil onto my hands at first, but gradually I found it really satisfying. It felt quite natural to get your hands into the soil.

Part 2: Healthy Living

Date: 24/09/2019, 26/09/2019
Timing: 16:30 - 18:00, 15:00 - 18:00
Hours completed: 4.5

Silver Award digital diary

International Award (or IA) is the award that I enrolled in UWCSEA. We need to do services and sports every week, and most importantly, an expedition in April 2020, in order to get the final award. Click on the link below to view my diary with my thoughts and feelings from the services and sports that I did until December 2019. Thank you!

http://becomingcelia.com/iadiary/2019/12/

The diary inside the link should be something like the screenshot below:

The file is changed from a google doc so there might be some issues with its styles. If any problems, please email chuxin.liang@becomingcelia.com.

IA Diary - Until December

"Forever Butterfly Sequel" is a collection of composition of 14 students in the First Language Chinese Class. Based on the work of writer Chen Qiyou, Yingzi and I sent a letter to my mother on a rainy day. Yingzi was hit by a car when walking across the road to put the letter into the mailbox. Fourteen stories, fourteen possibilities, fourteen Yingzi, fourteen butterflies.

New Book Schedule-"Forever Butterfly Sequel"!

Macs are known for their superb security system. I personally think that Windows are easier to get viruses than macs based on my experience of killing my first Windows laptop by allowing some strange dialogue box to update my windows system. However, my mac still got viruses just a day ago. And I realized that the biggest danger to my mac isn't a bad security system -- instead it was my curiosity that kills it.

So it was a cool Sunday afternoon. I had just finished all of my homework (or maybe that was my excuse for browsing on the web) and started looking for a crack for Sibelius. There was a really good melody in my head that I was in an urge to record it but I could not find any tool. The basic version for Sibelius was actually quite good already but the song that I was thinking of includes so many different musical instruments that Sibelius Basic does not have. And so therefore I was on my journey to a crack for Sibelius Pro.

As usually I went in and out of website, but Sibelius seemed to protect its copyright really well and I could not find even one pirated version of it. The only ones that I could find were the websites that automatically generate webpages that says "XXX's crack" or "XXX free down" but are actually another app when you actually download and open the package. I got really frustrated seeing all these unzipped files that says FlashPlayer (remember they are supposed to be cracks for Sibelius?) and the RAR files scattered around my desktop.

I was just going to hurl these into the trash bin in the corner of my screen when I suddenly thought: Why not see what's inside? It was a stupid thought, an extremely stupid idea indeed, but there was the devil in my heart continuously prompting me to do the "double-click". The icon was there. Open it up and install it and I will see what it is and what it does, I was thinking. I knew it's a scam but what’s there to be afraid of? At the worst, it would just not run and I would just move it to trash. A package file ending up in the trash was just a matter of time, why not try something fun if I couldn't install Sibelius Pro anyways?

So then the process started. I knew exactly how to start installing, to authenticate the app, to key in my password and to drag things around. It was awesome. The fun of seeing the process bar slowly reaching for the end at the right was more enjoyable than everything else.

Installation ends. While I was closing the window I suddenly realized that some other softwares were also installed: there was one called "Phase Search" -- an app with a green icon and the sign with a magnifier in the middle, another app called something doctor, and some so-called photo editor.
(I clearly remembered phase search was something like this)

This was a really common case if it was in windows. Some apps just want to promote some other apps so that they make you accidentally download something else when you are downloading the apps you want. Just delete the ones you don't want. It was that easy. So I proceeded to the "Applications" folder and searched for the five extra apps that I downloaded by chance.

And then it started. Mac's default browser Safari opened on its own. I was quite surprised. Instinctively I did ⌘ ⌥ esc to quit Safari, but something was faster than me. A series of apps suddenly jumps out and blocked my sight to the Force Quit Window. I tried to reselect the window, but I couldn't move my mouse. It seemed to get stuck.

Oops.

I used my trackpad instead and tried to move the cursor on the screen. It was no use. My cursor was controlled by something.

Ooooops.

Instantly my sight went to the opened apps. There were five of them, exactly the ones I unexpectedly installed. The "Phase Search", "Doctor", "Photo Editor", "Image editor".

No!!   esc! My cursor was as still as a statue in the middle of the screen.

  esc

  esc

Windows started jumping out. At a rate of several per second. 10 of them, 20 of them, 30 of them, gradually covering my whole 15-inch screen. NOOOOOO!!!!

My mac started fanning, beeping irregularly like a siren. It was a mix of red and orange and yellow on the screen. "100 windows opened!" One of the windows says, I didn't know which. It was a huge mess everywhere. Everything appeared as a flash in a fraction of a second and then being covered by another new window again.

So force-quit did not work, cursor did not work, staring at the screen and be at a loss at what to do was the least helpful thing of the all. I stared at the button at the top right part of my keyboard, thinking of my unsaved documents, my Econs and Compsci essays unsaved in Microsoft word. It was the only choice.

I pressed the button.

My sight turned black abruptly in a brief second, and then I drew my self back to the reality. The fanning without any warning stopped "phew" it said.

It was just 5 minutes ago since I double-clicked and put my mac's fate in the mouth of a shark. 6:15, the clock said as I sat back with my head blank. Perhaps the virus drained all of my energy too. It was always summer in Singapore, yet it feels so cold sitting in an aircon room hearing wind whistling violently outside.

𝐁𝐚𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐮đĢđĸ𝐭𝐲 𝐒𝐲đŦ𝐭𝐞đĻ? 𝐍𝐨, đĸ𝐭'đŦ 𝘤đ˜ļđ˜ŗđ˜Ē𝘰𝘴đ˜Ēđ˜ĩđ˜ē. [1]

Sending humans to Mars has been the dream of many scientists, but it is rather a challenging task. The reading proposes three problems that astronauts could face when going to Mars, yet the professor in the lecture suggests a few solutions and says that that it is possible to send human onto Mars.

Firstly, the reading states that there will be a lack of food and oxygen going to Mars. Since Mars is so far away from earth, the spaceship will not have the capacity of holding so many cargo. This is rebutted by the professor in the listening, who replies that astronauts on the spaceship could use hydroponics, a technique that allows plants to grow in water instead of in soil, which would save much space and making cultivating food crops possible. In addition, during the process of photosynthesis, oxygen will be produced so there will also be fresh air.

Secondly, the reading thinks that as there will be 0 gravity in the spaceship on the way to Mars, there will be lots of negative effects such as decreased muscle mass and lower bone density. On the other hand, the professor argues that astronauts have techniques that can ease these effects, for example, exercising more to reduce muscle loss and eat foods with more vitamin to slow down the reduce of bone density.

The third challenge in the reading is radiation from the sun. It says that the radiation will be dangerous to humans but providing a shield will be too expensive to afford. On the contrary, the professor thinks that the sun isn't always dangerous. In fact, its radiation is only dangerous when sometimes it becomes really active. A solution proposed by the professor is to make a small shelter that is free of radiation and astronauts will only need to get in at times when the sun is active.

As a conclusion, the reading describes sending humans to Mars as an almost impossible task, while the professor in the listening provides lots of solution to the challenges, proving the task possible.

———————   Model Answer  ———————

Both the reading and listening are arguing over a question whether it is possible to send human being to Mars. The reading lists out three problems to a successful carrying out. However, the listening offers three solutions to these questions. 

First, the reading raises the question that it takes too long to send people to Mars, approximately two years and no spacecraft could take that many loads of food, water and life essentials. Instead, the listening says this is not a real problem since the astronauts could use hydroponics to grow crop plants in water and food will not be an obstacle. Also, they could grow plants with recycle waste water and reuse it as clean water vapor, which could be drunk. Plus, since all plants do photosynthesis, the astronauts could breathe fresh air released by them. 

Second, the reading asserts that living in a zero-gravity environment would exert a negative effect on one' s health. Nevertheless, the professor says that the astronauts have learned to use several techniques to make up for the health issue. They will do regular exercise to prevent muscle mass from decreasing and take vitamins and minerals to slow down problem with their bone density. In another word, they' ve figured out how to cope with the potential health problem. 


Third, the reading claims that radiation emitted by the sun would be dangerous to astronauts. This time professor subtly rejects by pointing out that a third solution has come out. The spaceship would be equipped with a special instrument to monitor the radiation. What' s more, the device could also shield against the radiation. When astronauts meet the period of a large amount of radiation, they could hide behind the shielded areas and come out when the danger has passed. 

TOEFL AGAIN 50

It was getting colder. The cold mist was rising up through my clothes, my skin prickling with its icy touch. They emerged slowly out of the foliage of the enchanted forest, surrounding us in an eerie deafening silence. They were coming closer, I could feel their unrelenting cold glare from their eyes hard and sharp. Each man, woman and children held a single candle: they waded gracefully through the misty of fog towards us as if they were floating. It seemed they were unable to feel the river’s ice-cold touch. We looked around for an escape but in every direction the forest was dotted with the dreaded single lights. What were they doing here? What were we doing here?

The oar became slippery in my sweaty hands and I gripped harder onto it. The river was perfectly still and yet, the boat moved on its own along the placid river, deeper and deeper into the darkness and the unknown. Eventually, we arrived in front of a tattered hut and slowed down. The gnarled fingers of the tree, covered with moss, firmly seized onto the hut: they wrap all around, on the sides, some of them poked and penetrated through the walls. There was a greenish light with a slight hue of yellow, revealing through the balcony grimed with mud, matching the similar color of the burning candles. There seemed to be no one inside, yet there were sudden squeaks of the wooden floor inside the hut every now and then, contrasting with the complete silence out on the lake.

Then it struck me: the foul, rotten smell emanating from the hut. It is such a strong scent, a mix of the smell of feces, puke and stale sweat, aggressively penetrating into my nostrils. Rotten meat in a hot summer day, bodies burnt in the dark pits of hell, a bleeding cut with maggots crawling all over it. I abruptly turned away, while the women, men and children were still floating in the water, approaching us, chasing us closer and closer to the hut. They suddenly stopped, standing as still as statues, an eerie melody flew out from their yellowish teeth and tongues, resonating over the river, between the thick layers of leaves, the branches, the patterns on the barks and tree trunks.

The melody was offbeat, but everyone was singing it together, the cut of every note sharp and clean. I was feeling uneasy about all of these and my fingers sweated even more. Each note got longer, deeper, and hoarser. It was a harmony of sadness and sorrow, of bleakness and desolation, of suspiciousness and evilness. It was praising then cursing, mourning and calling. Looking at the hut, all of a sudden I saw a thin a small silhouette standing on the balcony. My oar slipped out of my hand and onto the water surface, the long-lasting silence was broken by the thunderous ‘thud’ as the oar hit the water. My heart was racing. For a brief moment, it seemed that the silhouette smirked towards me. I lost my consciousness.

Drifting in the River

The exams of all subjects are coming in December. Today, we got a chemistry class, and one of the questions in the test confuses me a lot. The question asks: Why do people add Chlorine in drinking water?

Add Chlorine to drinking water?
1
Is water with Chlorine drinkable?

My first uncertainty to this question is that: Is water with Chlorine drinkable? From my understanding of the element Chlorine, it is toxic. Chlorine in gas form was used as a chemical weapon during WWII, causing thousands of deaths. How could chlorine be added into drinking water?

I did some research online. There was an experiment in the 1980s about the effects of chlorine on human bodies. Both the animal experiments and human experiments performed directly with chlorine-treated water in this experiment showed high safety. No adverse effects were observed at a dose of 0.34 mg of chlorine per kg of body weight (This dose was the highest used in the experiment, so it was not clear that what dosage would be high).

As long as not too much Chlorine is added, it is safe for human body
But this doesn’t mean that Chlorine is safe for human body. After Chlorine enters a human body, a large amount of hypochlorous acid will be produced after a chemical reaction: Cl2 + H2O --> HCl + HClO), which causes the oxidation of tissues. Hydrochloric acid stimulates inflammatory swelling of the mucous membranes, making the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract swell and secretes a large amount of mucus, causing breathing difficulties. So therefore, the obvious symptom of chlorine poisoning is a severe cough. When the symptoms are severe, pulmonary edema can occur, making circulation difficult and possibly causing death.

Recently, I read an article from Singapore Eye: įŊ•č§!æ–°åŠ åĄ5å˛åĨŗ孊游æŗŗ后全čēĢįēĸč‚ŋ,åˆēį—›æ— æ¯”……. The little girl in the article, after swimming, got a lot of bumps on her body of different shapes and sizes. They looked like mosquito bites, but they ranges from her upper body to the thigh, looking scary.

What caused such scary symptoms? Yes, it was Chlorine.
I still feel a bit scared after reading this. It was very lucky that the girl did not drink water from the pool. From the symptoms described in the article, her skin was stimulated by the Hydrochloric acid after the reaction of chlorine, but fortunate what swelled was her skin and not her throat, or else the consequences would be deadly.

2
Why do people add Chlorine in drinking water?
Simple answer: Sterilization

Bacteria is affected by hypochlorous acid in the same way (not sure if bacteria will be affected by hydrochloric acid, maybe through osmosis, but absolutely not because of a swelling throat). Since hypochlorous acid molecules are small in volume and do not have charges, it is very easy from them to go through the cell membranes. Hypochlorous acid is also a strong oxidant that can harm cell membranes, allowing protein and nuclei to fall out from bacteria (sounds disgusting), causing its death.

All in all, the amount of chlorine added to the water must not be too much, otherwise, let alone drinking the water, even pool water will cause great harm to people. However, as long as not too much Chlorine is added, human bodies will not be harmed.

Chemistry test - correct answer - sterilization.

Why do people add Chlorine in drinking water?

Touchscreens

Resistive

Benefits

  • Touch in various ways: bare, gloved, stylus
  • Cheaper

Drawbacks

  • Poor visibility in strong sunlight
  • Not durable, not hard, could have scratches and wear out
  • No multi-touch

Infrared

Optical

  • Benefits
    • Hard to break
    • Multi Touch
    • Visible in strong sunlight
  • Drawbacks
    • Expensive
    • Only allow bare fingers (other things do not have enough heat)

Heat

  • Benefits
    • Visible in strong sunlight
    • Can be sensed in various ways: bare, gloved, stylus
    • Multi Touch
  • Drawbacks
    • Expensive

Capacitive

Benefits

  • Good visibility in strong light
  • Multi-touch
  • Durable, hard to break
  • Medium cost

Drawbacks

  • Only allow bare fingers to touch

Properties of Touchscreens

I was revising for Chemistry as we have a test tmr.

I started with a practice test paper and got stuck on a question about balancing the equation. The reactants are almost the same as the products, except there is one less hydrogen atom than the right-hand side.

I thought about it for about an hour, and I gave up. I searched it up on the web, and finally found out the difference of a few letters: It was Ammonium, NH4 on the left-hand side, and Ammonia, NH3 on the right-hand side. It's 10 already and I was really freaking out.

The Worst Mistake of the Month


You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies*
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean

You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely


If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawn’s first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep

If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning
*Rockies: a mountain range in the USA

--- two paragraphs of analysis ---

An idea that is strikingly communicated through the poem is confidence. This is presented by the first-person point of view used throughout the poem: “Ok then, yes, I’m lonely.”, and “If I’m lonely”. There are no descriptions of other characters except scenes metaphorically explaining the poet’s believes and values. This shows that the poet is willing to let the audience to look into her heart directly, completely deep into her thoughts and feelings. It highlights that the poet has no fear in clarifying her ideas and challenging the audience’s usual understanding of the word “lonely”, exploring the idea of self-confidence.

The poet strikingly conveyed her feeling that she will always live in a free lifestyle. The title of the poem, “Song”, could have many meanings. A song could be exciting and inspiring, or sad and bitter. It could be a solo sung by the poet herself, or a hymn sang by a choir. The variety of its explanation suggests the manifold possibility of the poet’s life. The same idea was expressed by lines in each stanza. ”You’re wondering if I’m lonely: / OK then, yes, I’m lonely / as a plane rides lonely and level” Unlike classical poems, Song does not have a clear meter or rhyme scheme, the poet herself decides where and how to stop the line. This could imply that the writer wants to live in the way she decides, no matter how other people might think about her, what their views and opinions might be.

Song by Adrienne Rich Analysis