Planning My Trip To Japan

So I am about to embark on a trip alone to Japan for about 6 days. I will go alone. I have been discussing thoroughly with my father for preparations. My father has a lot of experience with planning trips and traveling abroad. He has been giving me a lot of tips.

After the ticket was booked, I had to plan myself which cities I would visit and how many days. I then looked for either hotels or hostels to book. Location was important. Since Japan has a very excellent transportation system, they have a bullet train (goes up to speeds of 300 km/h) which allows you to travel Japan in a very fast time. I looked for hostels or hotels near bullet train stations as I would arrive at cities using bullet trains.


Extracurricular Activities Experience

I wanted to talk about my experience participating in club activities in my first year. I was heavily involved in a club called the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. This club had a committee called the Community Involvement Committee of which I was part of. The main goal of this committee was to reach out to the community and fundraise for the community. One of the major activities which we did was a clothing drive in the fall semester. It took a lot of planning and execution required commitment.


Research Retreat Experience

I just returned from a 2 day research retreat with the Anatomy and Cell Biology department and I would like to detail some of my experiences there. The retreat was at a hotel 50 minutes by car away from downtown Montreal. As soon as we got there, we checked in (but our rooms weren’t ready yet), and the research talks would immediately start. The chair of the department gave an opening (which I missed as I was in line for check in), then a professor talked about the Naylor Report. This report basically showed that funding for research in Canada was decreasing and that we were declining in our competitiveness compared to other countries. It would be important for all of those interested in pursuing a career in research or are already in research to write letters to their MPs or even try to get the attention of the Minister of Science before the budget in 2018 is decided.


How My Studying Strategies Have Changed Over the Years

In the past 3 years at McGill University, I have changed my studying strategies. In my first year, I wrote all my notes on paper during class and used the textbook, but did not take advantage of the lecture recordings. My first year classes such as calculus, chemistry, and physics required a lot of doing problems from the textbook. If I missed something while the professor was lecturing, it wasn’t such a big deal. Rarely, I would use the lecture recordings (not rewatch the whole thing) to take a quick look at what I missed if it was important. The only class which was more memorization based was psychology. I would retype my psychology notes I wrote in class and then supplement what I missed with notes from the textbook. My first year worked out pretty well.


Job Hunting Experiences At McGill

There are many places at McGill to find jobs. I have been working at a job since last September under the work study program. I have also worked at SSMU in my second year of university. I would like to talk a little bit about my experiences finding jobs. Work Study accepts applications starting in July for the upcoming year. The earlier you apply, the better because you will be able to apply to job postings earlier than if you submit your application later. It was quite hard to get a job from the work study program because it is quite competitive. I had to send out many emails with my CV, transcript, and sometimes cover letter to as many positions as possible. Many times I got an email back saying that the position was already filled or that I did not pass the initial screening stage. Many times I did not even get a response back.


396 Research Course

I just did a 396 research course in the Winter 2017 semester. Before I registered for it, I went to talk to my departmental advisor to ask for more information. She said it was a great way to do research in a professor’s lab and have it count toward your degree. What was also really nice was that you do not have to a 396 in your own department. You could be in Anatomy and Cell Biology and do a 396 from the biology department or physiology department or other departments.


Traveling Experience in Taiwan – Part 3

For this post, I would like to talk about some interesting cultural differences I noticed when I was a volunteer English teacher and interned in Taiwan. During my orientation at the elementary school I was going to be teaching at, the director ran down the daily schedule with us (there were other volunteers). He told us that class would start at 8:30 AM and the children would have an allotted 30 minute block to clean the classroom. When I first heard this I was surprised. I had heard from my parents that they had to clean the school back then, but this time I could actually see it happen. The director then told us that blocks were going to be about 1 hour each with 10 minute breaks in between. For lunch, the children would have to drag a cart from the kitchen and then serve the food to the other children. This was another surprise.


Traveling Experience in Taiwan – Part 2

Full platform doors. There are also platform doors which are half the height.

I have always heard from various people that the metro systems in Asia are excellently designed. I had a chance to ride the metro in Taipei. I was blown away by how well thought out it was. There were many aspects which I wished were implemented in Vancouver’s (where I grew up) metro system. The first aspect which I personally loved were the platform doors. These platform doors remain close until the metro arrives and basically prevents anybody from accidentally falling onto the tracks. When the metro arrives, the metro doors and platform doors open in synchrony. In Vancouver, none of the metro stations have these platform doors and it is quite easy for anyone to fall onto the tracks. With these doors though, they make a fantastic safety barrier. The second aspect which I noticed was the presence of waiting lines. At each platform door, waiting lines on the ground were marked clearly so that passengers could form a neat line while waiting for the metro. The third aspect was the great accessibility. Washrooms, elevators, and garbage cans and recycling bins were found at every station. One other nice touch was that when the metro was about the arrive, the station would play a quick tune to let you know! There are multiple lines for the metro which each have their own unique tune! I heard this was imported from Japan.


Traveling Experience in Taiwan – Part 1

Look how packed it is!

I was born in Taipei, Taiwan and lived there for three years. After that, I moved to Vancouver and grew up there. My kindergarten, primary, intermediate, middle, and high school years were all in Vancouver. I also did not have the chance to go back to Taiwan. As a result, it felt like I knew nothing of the place I was born in. I did not remember my first three years in Taiwan. My parents sometimes joked saying that I was a ‘banana,’ meaning I was yellow on the outside, but white on the inside (I hope this does not offend anyone). My knowledge consisted only of information given to me by word of mouth from my parents and friends. In high school, I had to write a history report for one of my International Baccalaureate classes. I used this as a chance to understand the history of Taiwan. What I found was that Taiwan consisted of a mix of European, Japanese, and Chinese history and culture. So what was this mysterious island which I have always heard about but never got to experience?


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